Dr Fong: COVID vaccination for children safe

Ministry of Health and Medical Services  permanent secretary Dr James Fong while delivering his COVID-19 update on Friday, August, 27, 2021. Picture: FIJIAN GOVERNMENT

Fiji’s Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong says vaccination for children aged 12 to 17 years is safe.

“Similar to adults, children can also experience the side effects of COVID-19 vaccination such as pain, swelling at the jab site, fever, and body aches,” Dr Fong said last night in his COVID-19 update announcement.

He said those symptoms should subside over a few days.

“Severe side effects are rare and the risk of getting a severe infection and succumbing to COVID-19 is still higher than the risk of adverse events from vaccination. Therefore, parents and guardians are encouraged to agree for their children to be vaccinated to protect them from COVID-19,” Dr Fong said.

He said vaccination of eligible children aged 15 to 17 years with the Moderna vaccine had started yesterday – Monday, September 20.

He urged parents to register their children before vaccination.

The vaccination sites for children can be obtained from the Health Ministry and the Government’s Facebook pages.

“Parental or guardian consent is mandatory before vaccination. No vaccine will be administered to any child without the consent of the parent or guardian,” Dr Fong said.

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